National collaboration shows promise for CAUTI reduction

A concerted effort across 603 hospitals showed promise in reducing catheter-associated urinary tract infections among patients, according to a new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

The large collaborative effort was sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and was primarily focused on providing training and educational resources to both physicians and nurses. Providers were given Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program toolkits. The CUSP toolkit is customizable and includes a checklist of clinical best practices, slides, videos and facilitator notes to lead caregivers through modules. The results appearing in the NEJM were collected from four of the study's cohorts that completed the 18-month program between March 2011 and November 2013.

Adherence to the program led to a CAUTI reduction of one-third among hospital patients in general wards. Catheter use also dropped, though patients in intensive care units didn't display a drop in either measure, suggesting further room for improvement.

Sanjay Saint, MD, the paper's first author and a professor of internal medicine at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, said, "This program...shows we can make a difference in catheter-associated UTI rates and the use of catheters by addressing both technical and cultural aspects of healthcare...there's more work to be done, but all involved in this effort should take pride in knowing they helped move the needle on this important issue."

Some studies suggest that as many as 69 percent of CAUTIs are preventable.

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A concerted effort across 603 hospitals showed promise in reducing catheter-associated urinary tract infections among patients, according to a new study published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

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